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Laer. I pray you, give me leave.
All. We will, we will.

Laer. I thank you; keep the door.

O thou vile King, give me my father.

Queen. Calmly, good Laertes.


Laer. That drop of blood that's calm, proclaims me baftard;

Cries cuckold to my father; brands the harlot
Ev'n here, between the chaste and unfmirch'd brow
Of my true mother.

King. What is the caufe, Laertes,

That thy Rebellion looks fo giant-like?
Let him go, Gertrude; do not fear our perfon:
There's fuch divinity doth hedge a King,
That treason can but peep to what it would,
Acts little of its will. Tell me, Laertes,

Why are you thus incens'd? Let him go, Gertrude.
Speak, man.

Laer. Where is my father?
King. Dead.

Queen. But not by him.

King. Let him demand his fill.

Laer. How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with : To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackeft devil! Confcience and grace, to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation; to this point I ftand, That both the worlds I give to negligence, Let come, what comes; only I'll be reveng'd Moft throughly for my father.

King. Who fhall stay you?

Laer. My will, not all the world;

And for my means, I'll husband them so well,
They shall go far with little.

King Good Laertes,

If you defire to know the certainty

Of your dear father, is't writ in your revenge, (That fweep-ftake) you will draw both friend and foe, Winner and lofer ?

Laer. None but his enemies.

King. Will you know them then?

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Laer. To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms,
And, like the kind life-rend'ring pelican,
Repaft them with my blood.
King. Why, now you speak

Like a good child, and a true gentleman.
That I am guiltless of your father's death,
And am molt fenfible in grief for it,
It shall as level to your judgment pierce,
As day does to your eye. [A noise within.
come in."]

Laer. How now, what noife is that?

"Let her

Enter Ophelia, fantastically dreft with ftraws and flowers.

O heat, dry up my brains! tears, feven times falt,
Burn out the fenfe and virtue of mine èye!

By heav'n, thy madnefs fhall be paid with weight,
'Till our fcale turn the beam. O rofe of May!
Dear maid, kind fifter, fweet Ophelia !

O heav'ns, is't poffible a young maid's wits
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
Nature is fine in love; and, where 'tis fine,
It fends fome precious inftance of itself
After the thing it loves.

Oph. They bore him bare-fac'd on the bier,
And on his Grave reigns many a tear;
Fare you well, my dove!

Laer. Hadft thou thy wits, and didft perfuade revenge, It could not move thus.

Oph. You must fing, down a-down, and you call him a-down-a. O how the wheel becomes it! it is the falfe fteward that ftole his mafter's daughter.

Laer. This nothing's more than matter.

Oph. There's rofemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember; and there's panfies, that's for thoughts. Laer. A document.in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted.


Opb. There's fennel for you, and columbines; there's rue for you, and here's fome for me. We may call it herb of grace o' Sundays: you may wear your rue with a difference. There's a daify; I would give you fome violets, but they withered all when my father dy'd: they say, he made a good end;

For bonny fweet Robin is all my joy.

Laer. Thought, and Affliction, paffion, hell itself, She turns to favour, and to prettiness.

Oph. And will be not come again?

And will be not come again?

No, no, he is dead, go to thy death-bed,

He never will come again.

His beard was as white as fnow,

All flaxen was his pole :

He is gone, he is gone,
Gramercy on his foul!

and we caft away mone,

And of all chriftian fouls! God b'w'ye. [Exit Ophelia, Laer. Do you fee this, you Gods!

King. Laertes, I muft commune with your grief,
Or you deny me right: go but a-part,

Make choice of whom your wifeft friends you will,
And they fhall hear and judge 'twixt you and me;
If by direct or by collateral hand

They find us touch'd, we will our Kingdom give,
Our Crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
To you in fatisfaction. But if not,

Be you content to lend your patience to us;
And we shall jointly labour with your foul,
To give it due content.

Laer. Let this be fo.

His means of death, his obfcure funeral,

No trophy, fword, nor hatchment o'er his bones,
No noble rite, nor formal oftentation,

Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heav'n to earth,
That I muft call't in queftion.

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King. So you fhall :

And where th' offence is, let the great ax fall.
I pray you, go with me.

Enter Horatio, with an attendant.


Hor. What are they, that would speak with me?
Serv. Sailors, Sir; they fay, they have letters for
Hor. Let them come in.

I do not know from what part of the world


I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet. 9

Enter Sailors.

Sail. God blefs you, Sir.

Hor. Let him bless thee too.


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Sail. He fhall, Sir, an't please him.-There's a letter for you, Sir: It comes from th' ambaffador that was bound for England, if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.

Horatio reads the letter.

"Oratio, when thou shalt have overlook'd this, give thefe fellows fome means to the King: they have letters for him. Ere we were two days ald at fea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chace. Finding ourJelves too flow of fail, we put on a compelled valour, and in the grapple I boarded them: on the inftant they got clear of our fhip, fo I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me, like thieves of mercy; but they know what they did: I am to do a good turn for them. Let the King have the letters I have fent, and repair thou to me with as much hafte as thou wouldeft fly death. I have words to Speak in thy ear, will make thee dumb; yet are they much too light for the matter. Thefe good fellows will bring thee where I Rofincrantz and Guildenstern hold their courfe for England. Of them I have much to tell thee, farewel He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet. Come,


Come, I will make you way for these your letters;
And do't the fpeedier, that you may direct me
To him from whom you brought them.

Enter King, and Laertes.


King. Now muft your confcience my acquittance feal,
And you muft put me in your heart for friend;
Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That he, which hath your noble father flain,
Purfued my life.

Laer. It well appears. But tell me,
Why you proceeded not against these feats,
So crimeful and fo capital in nature,
As by your fafety, wifdom, all things elfe,
You mainly were ftirr'd up?

King. Two fpecial reasons,

Which may to you, perhaps, feem much unfinew'd,

And yet to me are ftrong.

The Queen, his mother,

Lives almost by his looks; and for myfelf,

(My virtue or my plague, be't either which,)
She's fo conjunctive to my life and foul,
That, as the star moves not but in his fphere,
I could not but by her. The other motive,
Why to a publick count I might not go,
Is the great love the general gender bear him;
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
Convert his gyves to graces. So that my arrows
Too lightly timbred for fo loud a wind,

Would have reverted to my bow again,
And not where I had aim'd them.

Laer. And fo have I a nobler father loft,
A fifter driven into defperate terms,

Whofe worth, if praifes may go back again,
Stood challenger on mount of all the age

For her perfections-But my revenge will come.

King. Break not your fleeps for that; you must not think,

That we are made of ftuff fo flat and dull,

That we can let our beard be shook with danger,

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